Quick Fix or Complete Renovation?

Posted by Tim Ryan on Sunday, November 20th, 2011 at 2:23pm.

Most homeowners have a few areas in their home that they know could use some work. That’s normal, right? Things deteriorate over time. Maybe it is something that has bothered you since you moved in, or maybe it’s something that just recently became a problem. The question is, how much time, effort, energy, and money should be given to the ‘problem area’? There are several different things to consider when making your decision.

Often times, a trip to a home improvement store like Home Depot can get you a rough idea of pricing. From there, you will need to determine how important the problem is, i.e. is it visible for all to see, or is it something only you will really notice? Another factor to consider is how much longer you plan to be in your home. Some people think that if they are moving soon, the repair method is always best. But, in some instances, going ahead and renovating will result more appeal and a better price when you sell. The following are some things to consider when weighing this decision.

First off, let’s clarify the difference between repair and renovate. Repair is a quicker and generally cheaper solution, i.e. re-painting, caulking, or general repairs. Basically, a repair takes what is existing and attempts to bring it back to it’s original condition. Renovating involves demolition or removal of an old item or surface and replacing with new. Wood floors where there was previously carpet or new windows would be renovations.

In a lot of cases, renovating makes more sense as a lot of time and energy could be spent trying to bring something back to it’s original form, only to still be unhappy with the results. For example, let’s say the base molding in a home has been chewed or scratched by a dog. You could paint it, and even sand and paint it, but it will still look chewed. It would be quicker, easier, and cheaper to just buy a new piece of molding, paint it, and apply it.

Often renovating makes a bigger mess than repairing. Any sort of demo involving sheetrock or flooring will cover your entire home in a thick layer of dust. If you plan to renovate, prepare to live in a mess while the job is going on. Even after the job is complete your home will be dusty for a couple weeks.

Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® publishes a report on which projects yield the most bang for their buck called the Cost vs. Value report. If you are considering moving and are facing the question of repair or renovate, this would be a valuable analysis tool.

As always, get a couple opinions from different qualified professionals prior to making your decision. Factoring in a price and different professional opinions on the work to be done will pay huge dividends in your decision making process. One contractor may say that repairing is hopeless and you have to renovate. Another could suggest a quicker, cheaper alternative. From these meetings, you will get a much better understanding of what is involved in both options. You will of course learn about cost as well, which will likely play a huge part in determining the right course of action.

Sometimes the repair or replace question becomes even more complex when it comes to system type things. Maybe the heat pump you have was designed to last 30 years and it’s only in it’s 12th year. Replacing would likely cost more, and maybe the newer unit is only designed for 8 years, so what would be best? Doing your research and asking lots of questions are the best strategies when it comes to making the decision to repair or renovate your space.

About The Author: Kimberley Kelly specializes in helping home buyers find real estate Palm Springs and La Quinta homes for sale in and around the Southern Desert in California. For more information you may want to check out some high end luxury Palm Desert homes or visit her website.

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